Mattel Reviews

Updated April 16, 2015
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3.0
117 Reviews
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Mattel Interim-CEO Christopher A. Sinclair
Christopher A. Sinclair
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117 Employee Reviews

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  1. Fast paced company in transition.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Product Designer in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Product Designer in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Good benefits, raises, great opportunities with handwork. Talented creatives, best industry knowledge out there, a lot of resources, and welcoming to interns/younger designers.

    Cons

    Marketing and management rotates in and out continuously. Constantly have to prove yourself even as a veteran. It has a good old boys feel.

    Advice to Management

    Make decisions faster and give your workers the time to do their jobs right. Focus on the product.

  2. So much brilliant creative talent that is consistently squashed by overly cautious management.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great employees and fun benefits, including half-day Fridays, in a creative environment. Middle management is typically supportive and sympathetic, trying to make a difference.

    Cons

    Creative environment is overshadowed by stodgy, overpaid, big brother corporate leadership. They give good lip service to cutting through the corporate red tape, promoting new ideas, pushing creative boundaries, and protecting employees, but in practice the opposite happens. Brands that were once interesting are now squashed into the same boring (and failing) molds which cater to the lowest common denominator, meetings and approval processes continually increase, and layoffs which primarily target the average employee happen yearly, at least. Upper management is rewarded while the work piles onto those at the bottom of the totem pole. All the while, they tell us we're making progress.

    Advice to Management

    Cut back on upper management and upper management's perks, get Marketing out of the creative building, and let us be creative again. No one wants boring toys.

  3. Helpful (6)

    Plastic Ain't Fantastic

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Manager in El Segundo, CA

    I worked at Mattel full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    - 1/2 day Fridays are awesome (though it often becomes time you use to catch up)
    - Discount toys are fun
    - Philanthropy opportunities
    - Employee picnics (except the ones that were exclusive)
    - Education/development courses are a nice break and really helpful
    - Fun brands
    - They pay well

    Cons

    - Incompetent/unqualified management
    - Dismissive HR
    - Uninspiring
    - Sexism is rampant
    - If you aren't in Toy, you will get little support
    - Inability to leverage IPs strategically
    - No work/life balance
    - Meetings upon meetings
    - Decision/lack of decision by committee paralyzes progress
    - Innovation/new ideas are "encouraged" and then discarded
    - Far behind competitors in tech and digital

    Advice to Management

    1) GBT/Market split doesn't truly address market needs - put more power back in their hands
    2) Marketers should be fluent in digital marketing to some degree, vs. centralizing all digital knowledge and getting bogged down in politics and bottlenecks (though Video Game production and marketing should be centralized)
    3) LISTEN to employee concerns about managers and do something about it; trim the fat
    4) Sexism is rampant in your company - figure it out and fix it
    5) You need fresh, smart blood in there to jumpstart the company. From the outside, Mattel looks like a dinosaur trying to dance wearing roller skates on a sinking ship
    6) Your people are starving for inspiration and looking for leadership to lead, while simultaneously refreshing LinkedIn and Indeed several times a day
    7) Get back to the heart of the thing and create the ~future~ of play. IP. Inspiration. Iteration. Innovation. No one is saying there isn't a place for plastic, especially in some of the international territories - but Mattel needs to think about the toys and ways to play of tomorrow, not stand on ceremony and sing praises to brands and products of the past
    8) Encourage fun - happy employees are creative and productive employees

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  5. Helpful (1)

    No work life balance. 3 major layoff rounds between Mar 2014-Mar 2015.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in El Segundo, CA

    I worked at Mattel full-time (less than a year)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    You work for Barbie and Hot Wheels. Nice coworkers.

    Cons

    Barbie is a slave driver. No formal safe way to give feedback to supervisor. No work life balance. I'm in finance and ate dinner at Mattel 2-4x a week consistently. Laid off after less than a year from downsizing. Everyone else I know has also either been laid off or left on their own since working conditions are so bad.

    Advice to Management

    Please establish a way for employees to safely and formally give feedback to supervisors.

  6. Lots of layoffs

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Staff Designer in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Staff Designer in El Segundo, CA

    I worked at Mattel full-time (more than 10 years)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Get to work with toys. Very creative workplace.

    Cons

    Lots of layers of management, lots of back and forth changes.

    Advice to Management

    The straightest course to a creative product is NOT second guessing every move.

  7. Too bureaucratic, Deteriorating culture, collapsing quickly

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Financial Analyst in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Large company
    Toy industry, fun products
    Half day Fridays (most of the time)

    Cons

    Bureaucratic culture, too many layers
    Old school management
    Poor work like balance
    Uncertain future

    Advice to Management

    Be more flexible, modernize culture

  8. Marketing Manager

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing Manager in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel

    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Great people
    Interesting work
    Not too much travel
    Good resources
    Half day Friday's
    Bonus
    Two weeks of between christmas and New Years.

    Cons

    Lots on meetings
    PowerPoint Crazy
    tons of emails
    Not a great iT organiAtion. The systems are ok but it often takes a really long time to resolve

  9. Career growth

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    promotes from within including cross-functional changes

    Cons

    Ever-changing industry with emerging/limited structure for international business

    Advice to Management

    encourage global business leaders to experience market conditions outside of the U.S.

  10. Corporate America at it's best and worst.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Product Designer in El Segundo, CA
    Former Employee - Product Designer in El Segundo, CA

    I worked at Mattel full-time (more than a year)

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    From a design standpoint, you get to work on really cool things that will go out all over the world. Most people are very nice and down to earth.

    Cons

    Upper Management is too far removed both from their workers, and from what is relevant these days. Too much emphasis on the money- taking risks is unheard of.

    Advice to Management

    Hire younger, more clued in people. Realize that you have to break the mold sometimes to succeed. Barbie isn't going anywhere anymore. It's time for change.

  11. Typical corporate environment with poor management but good staffers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Marketing in El Segundo, CA
    Current Employee - Marketing in El Segundo, CA

    I have been working at Mattel full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Smart, creative people making toys! Half day Fridays, good benefits, good salary. It's a large company so that means some growth potential if you want to learn about other aspects of the business.

    Cons

    Constant re-orgs and confusion about direction. never enough transparency. Management is terrible. feels like it takes forever to get anything done. too many people need to approve every tiny decision. annual layoffs. many great employees are temps and they don't get benefits.

    Advice to Management

    stop allowing higher level management to travel so much, so expensively, when we are all being told to cut back on everything. let decisions be made without so much insane scrutiny. presentation decks should be banned. people spend 95% of their time creating decks that no one looks at. too many meetings and too much approval needed from every level of management. empower people to make local decisions and you'll see better results.

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